Proforma IdeaPress Gains Edge with Ariba Discovery

Manufacturer wins more than $500,000 in business previously awarded to overseas competitors

Sunnyvale, CA—March 2, 2012—For years, Pratt Pande watched as companies moved the manufacturing of products that Proforma IdeaPress, his Atlanta-based company could produce overseas to take advantage of favorable exchange rates and lower labor costs. Now, he’s seeing things come back.

Proforma IdeaPress, a provider of promotional products, printing services, business documents and eCommerce solutions, recently won more than $500,000 in new business that had previously been awarded to a overseas competitor. And the best part is, he didn’t have to go looking for it. It came to him through Ariba Discovery, the service for matching business buyers and sellers globally delivered by Ariba, Inc.

“We are extremely price competitive, but the trend among companies has been to outsource to China and other regions where they could manufacture cheaply,” Pande said. “We registered with Ariba Discovery to improve our visibility among decision makers, and it has really opened up the market for us.”

Delivered via the Ariba Network, Ariba Discovery provides selling organizations with access to real decision-makers in the world’s leading buying organizations and allows buyers to tap into a high-quality supply base. Using the service, sellers can identify valid buying opportunities faster and more cost-effectively than other marketing methods, boosting overall sales and marketing success. And in the case of Proforma, convert them into hard dollar results.

By simply responding to a Request for Proposal for iron-on transfers posted to Ariba Discovery, Proforma was able to connect with a buyer in an active purchasing cycle and ultimately win a contract worth more than $500,000.

“Before, we used to use more traditional marketing strategies, like attending networking events, to try and get to the right decision makers and it took several touches and lots of gate keepers,” Pande said. “With Ariba, you can connect with the right people much faster.”

Proforma was able to go from response to contract in just two weeks. “A lead like that would have taken us a good two months to secure before,” Pande said.

As a result of the new business that Proforma has won, the company is expanding both its operations and its competitive advantage. “We have added six new employees and a whole new capability in terms of product line, which we can now market to other customers,” Pande said.

“When you get right down to it, we live in a networked world," says Rob Mihalko, vice presidnet of the service. "One that connects us to communities that help us learn, share, and do business better. By tapping into digital communities like the Ariba Network and leveraging services like Ariba Discovery, companies like Proforma can spend less time finding business and more time growing it.”

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